Scotland Senior Women’s tour of Asia ended in impressive fashion as the side powered past Fo Guang, Taiwan to earn a record of 2-2 at the Malaysian Association of Basketball International Invitation Tournament.
A narrow 51-52 loss, to Thailand in a single pre-tournament showcase, got the tour underway in agonising fashion. Despite defeat, the game demonstrated the team’s ability to compete and signalled plenty of positives for the tournament ahead.
There was a sense of history repeated in Scotland’s tournament opener, as the team fell 61-63 to Shanghai, a regional team from China. A wild finish to the game, in which Scotland led for the majority, saw victory slip away in the dying seconds as Shanghai hit a pair of clutch free throws to seal the narrowest of wins. Dee Hayward (19p) and Erin McGarrachan (14p-10r) led Scotland in scoring.
Undeterred by the previous games’ outcomes, Scotland bounced back in style to beat Nan Shan, a regional team from China, (72-71) and overturn their fourth quarter struggles. Recovering from a slow start, Scotland matched the opposition on both ends of the floor. Kirsten Simpson and Dee Hayward proved to be the difference as the duo combined for a pair of clutch baskets to give Scotland a dramatic victory – their first of the tour. Dee Hayward scored a game high 33 points and Erin McGarrachan (16p-11r) collected her second double-double of the tournament.
Scotland’s duel with tournament hosts Malaysia proved to be another nail-biter, the Scots falling 64-67. Tied at the half and heading into the final 10 minutes, only a late Malaysian run with just less than 4 minutes to go could separate the teams. Despite a spirited effort in the dying moments, Malaysia held their nerve at the free throw line to claim the win. Sarah Thomson (15p), Erin McGarrachan (13p), Dee Hayward (10p) and Hannah Robb (9p) led the team in scoring.
The tournament’s finale saw Scotland put together their finest 40 minutes of the tour, with an impressive 80-67 triumph over Fo Guang, Taiwan. An exceptional team performance underlined the potential of the roster – the result never in doubt. Dee Hayward (21p), Hannah Peacock (19p-9r), Sarah Thomson (16p) and Erin McGarrachan (11p) led Scotland in scoring.
An impressive finish to the tour undoubtedly underlines the squad’s ability, providing clear evidence of their competitiveness ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but no doubt there will be a small tinge of disappointment among the group given the close nature of each of the three defeats.
Tour Record = 2-3
Tournament Record = 2-2
Tournament +/- = +9
Points leader = Dee Hayward 20.75ppg
Scotland 51-52 Thailand
Scotland 61-63 Shanghai, China
Scotland 72-71 Nan Shan, China
Scotland 64-67 Malaysia
Scotland 80-67 Fo Guang, Taiwan